Spirit-Class Cruise Ship Set to Make Chinese Debut Out of Tianjin

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The 85,619-ton Spirit-class Mediterranea, currently run by Adora Cruises, is slated to kick off its debut Chinese cruising season based out of Tianjin Port sometime during Q4 2023.

Mediterranea Scheduled for Upgrade and New Home Port

The 12-deck Mediterranea, which came out of Kvaerner Masa-Yards Helsinki New Shipyard in Finland, and first launched in June 2003, is scheduled for a few new upgrades. The ship will soon be heading into the burgeoning Chinese cruise-holiday space.

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited plans for Adora Cruises to manage the vessel’s first season based out of Tianjin Port, which should commence sometime during the fourth quarter of 2023.

Departing from Tianjin, Mediterranea will escort passengers on memorable voyages around the region, offering holidaymakers a diverse range of international routes and destinations.

Adora Cruises Mediterranea
Adora Cruises Mediterranea

As Mediterranea is readied for the East Asian and Chinese markets, Adora Cruises is preparing the ship for an enhanced rebranding, set to encompass a rebirth of the ship’s name (i.e. a new name), along with some changes made to the cruise liner’s appearance.

The overall new aesthetic theme for Mediterranea is aimed at creating a vessel with a livery that blends the hues, elegance, and artistic essence of the Mediterranean into a cohesive whole. 

As for the interior of the ship—which can house up to 2,680 passengers in its 1,057 deluxe rooms and suites, the idea here is to create a tribute of sorts to the magnificent architecture found in Italian palaces and castles from the 15th to 17th centuries. 

Furthermore, designers and builders will try to flawlessly integrate many of the cultural aspects of the Mediterranean with some notable features originating from Chinese culture.

Tianjin Port’s History and Cruise Industry Significance

Tianjin Port has a long history spanning centuries. Its strategic location at the mouth of the Hai River in Northern China made it a vibrant trading hub in ancient times. 

During the 19th century, Tianjin was a Treaty Port, attracting foreign merchants and traders.

The influx of Western influences transformed Tianjin into a bustling cosmopolitan city—although the unequal treaties between China and foreign powers definitely skewed in favor of the foreign powers.

Tianjin Cruise Port
Tianjin Cruise Port (Photo Credit: Steve Heap / Shutterstock)

In the late 20th century, Tianjin Port underwent rapid growth and modernization as part of China’s economic reforms. Modern infrastructure, like deep-water berths, storage facilities, and cargo handling equipment, helped cement the port’s status as an international trade gateway into Northern China.

Tianjin Port has also emerged as a prominent destination for cruise-based tourism in recent years, welcoming numerous international cruise liners, and serving as an access point to popular tourist destinations like Beijing and the Great Wall.

By selecting Tianjin as the homeport for Mediterranea, CSSC Carnival is signaling the firm’s strategic commitment to solidifying the company’s presence in the Northern China market by offering travelers increased access to the region’s maritime heritage and various international destinations.

Mediterranea and Adora Magic City

The announcement of Mediterranea’s new homeport in Tianjin comes on the heels of Adora Cruises revealing the name of the company’s first-ever Chinese-built ship, now known as Adora Magic City.

Measuring 135,500 tons and accommodating up to 5,246 passengers, Adora Magic City is currently projected to commence its service toward the end of 2023.

With the upcoming deployment of Adora Magic City to its homeport in Shanghai, the two vessels will adopt a “dual port operational model,” which essentially means that the ships will establish a presence in both Tianjin and Shanghai, enabling them to serve a wider range of guests.

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